Two schools from the SOC I met in Franklin Furnace on Friday night for a late season showdown.
The Northwest Mohawks traveled down US Route 52 to take on the Green Bobcats. Both schools have struggled this year, but were hoping to close the last few games out with some momentum moving forward.
Northwest was able to notch the win on the road, 41-0. Sophomore Billy Crabtree played a big part in the scoring efforts of the Mohawks, scoring three touchdowns in the first half.
Crabtree caught some praise from his head coach Doug Montavon leading up to the game and afterwards, as Montavon tabbed Crabtree as a leader on the team.
“Having Billy step in, he’s a vocal leader and he also leads by example,” Montavon said. “He and Kaden Zumbro are vocal guys, and they’ll step up and say what needs to be said.”
The role is something Crabtree welcomes.
“It’s different,” Crabtree said. “I’ve always had that role, since my Dad was my coach and everything. When I had Coach Montavon as a seventh grader, he’s always had that expectation for us to do that, so I have to step up and do it.”
Green hoped to mix things up on offense a bit to keep Northwest off balance, but that plan did not go as expected.
“We tried to do some things that would give us a chance to move the ball a little bit,” Green head coach Ted Newsome said. “Their Jimmies and Joes were just bigger than our X’s and O’s.”
The Mohawks held the Bobcats to just 111 total yards, including just 62 yards rushing.
In the end, the most important stat of the night for Northwest was a big zero on the scoreboard.
“We haven’t had a shutout in a while, so that was one of our defensive goals,” Northwest senior Kyle Leslie said. “We really wanted to come out and just dominate on the defensive side, and I think we did that.”
Early in the contest, Green was able to control the ball on a long drive to open the game. It was all for naught, though, as the Bobcats were kept from scoring.
Northwest kicked off their success on offense on the very first drive of the game. Faced with a 3rd down and 19, the Mohawks had some tricks up their sleeve when fullback Andrew Howard took a pitch from quarterback Garrett Rowe, then found Rowe wide open for a 14 yard gain.
Now pressed with a 4th down and 5, the decision was easy for Montavon to roll the dice and go for it. That decision paid off, as Crabtree took a pitch to the right side down in to the red zone on a nice run.
Rowe finished off the drive with an eight yard score, and Northwest had a seven point lead with 2:37 left in the first frame when Evan Throckmorton knocked home the extra point.
“I have to give a shoutout to my offensive line, they work their butt off,” Rowe said after the game.
On the following drive for Green, the Bobcats started at their own 14 yard line after a solid kickoff from Throckmorton. The special teams unit was able to constantly pin Green deep in their own territory all throughout the game.
“Having Evan as our kicker means we can have the kickoff land wherever we want,” Montavon said. “We are spoiled having Evan as our kicker … we asked Evan to kick away from Lonnie Smith and between the 10 and the goal line, and he did that to perfection every time.”
The Bobcats pieced together several positive plays, but were stopped short on a 4th down and 8 attempt which gave the Mohawks a prime scoring opportunity at the Green 17 yard line.
On the second drive of the game, the Bobcats were able to force a third down stop, but an unsportsmanlike penalty gave Northwest a 1st down and goal at the 5 yard line.
At that point, Newsome called a timeout to rally the troops.
“It got a little bit chippy and out of hand, and we had to put an end to that,” Newsome said. “I called timeout and had a meeting with my kids at the middle of the field, and said “this is not us, this is not what we do here. We are better than this, you’re better boys than this.” We’ve got to clean that up, and from that point on we did to their credit.”
A play later, the penalty bug bit the Mohawks this time. A holding call pushed Northwest back to the 15, but the Mohawks were able to score on a 15 yard pass from Rowe to Crabtree the very next play.
With 10:56 before halftime, the lead was now 14-0 after the extra point.
Crabtree showed off several moves on his way to the left pylon, breaking multiple tackles along the way.
“I was just trying to get to the end zone, that’s all I could do,” Crabtree said. “I gotta show out for my [Hudl] mixtape.”
Back on offense, Green once more started in bad territory. The Bobcats moved backwards this time, and were forced to punt at their own 1 yard line.
After a nice return from Crabtree, Northwest now set up shop at the Green 12 yard line. Several plays later, Crabtree scored on a run from 14 yards out. The kick gave the Mohawks a 21-0 lead with 8:03 to go in the second.
The kickoff this time from Northwest was returned for a big gain from Mark Coy all the way to the Green 48 yard line. With the best field position of the night for the Bobcats, Green wanted to score and stay alive in the contest.
However, they were unable to make it past midfield, as a fumble turned the ball back over to the Mohawks. Andrew Howard hopped on the ball to give possession back to Northwest.
Once again, the Mohawks would capitalize and score. But not before Green sophomore Trevor Darnell made his impact felt.
Darnell is just 5’5” and 140 pounds, but he laid a lick on a Northwest ball carrier along the right sideline.
“He had some big hits tonight,” Newsome said. “He had some of the biggest hits of the game for anybody, and he’s probably the smallest guy on the field. He’s a kid that if you could just bottle up what he’s got, you’d be a millionaire.”
Newsome was very high on Darnell, who has emerged in a big way throughout the year for the Bobcats.
“He’s our leader, he’s the captain of our team and for good reason,” Newsome said. “He’s one of the most unselfish kids you’ll ever meet, and he’s got a leadership quality about him. You get every ounce of that kid, he’s got such great energy and charisma that he really is infectious.”
Following the Darnell hit, Northwest was able to get in for another score shortly after when Timmy Emmons ran for a 39 yard touchdown behind some big blocks.
“Receivers were blocking good down the field, so it was pretty much wide open,” Emmons said about the play. “I can’t thank the line enough.”
A fumble on the next drive from Green’s offense once again gave the Mohawks a short field. Taking over at the Green 27, Northwest scored again on a 20 yard pass from Rowe to Crabtree.
The extra point was blocked, and with just several minutes to play before halftime the Mohawks held a 34-0 lead. Entering the break, Northwest took that five score lead to the locker room.
In the second half, the Mohawks captured another score on the ground when Nathan Rivers crashed his way in from three yards out. Northwest was now up 41-0 with 2:58 to play in the third quarter, and that would be the last score of the game from both schools.
As the game clock wound to a close, Green had a chance inside the red zone. On a 4th down and goal from the 6, the Bobcats were unable to find a receiver as Darnell rolled out to his right.
The game was over, and the shutout was complete for the Mohawks.
With the win, Northwest has now won two straight games, and are starting to come together as a team late in the year.
“We’ve got a really good group of young guys that are starting to step up now that we’re towards the end of the season, and are showing their leadership going in to next year for us,” Montavon said.
Closing things out for the Mohawks, Northwest (2-7) will host Symmes Valley (6-3) next Friday.
“It’s going to be a tough one,” Montavon said. “Symmes Valley has got a lot of talent.”
For Green, Newsome has seen a lot of growth this season.
“They’ve grown as men this year, which is the most important thing,” Newsome said. “Doggone it, I love them, I wish we could get them over the hump and get another win or two.”
“We promise we’re never going to make excuses, and we’re going to keep fighting a good fight doing it the right way. It’s tough whenever you can’t go in and win and get that satisfaction of that hard work, effort and grind that you go through.”
In the season finale for the Bobcats, Green (1-8) will take on Oak Hill (7-2) next Friday.
Northwest: Garrett Rowe 8 yd run (XP good) 7-0
Northwest: Billy Crabtree 15 yd pass from Garrett Rowe (XP good) 14-0
Northwest: Billy Crabtree 14 yd run (XP good) 21-0
Northwest: Timmy Emmons 39 yd run (XP good) 28-0
Northwest: Billy Crabtree 20 yd pass from Garrett Rowe (XP blocked) 34-0
Northwest: Nathan Rivers 3 yd run (XP good) 41-0
Reach Benjamin Spicer at (502)264-7318 or on Twitter @BSpicerPDT